I gave a presentation at work recently. It did not go as well as I would have liked. I can tell you everything that I did wrong in the presentation. I talked too fast; I rambled in spots; and I spoke without a lot of emotion or enthusiasm.
I’ve made a ton of presentations over the years, but I still get worried. I used to stutter and stammer as a kid and I worry sometimes about slipping up when I’m presenting. I’m usually fine, but it still comes up occasionally. I’m great with small groups, but presentations seem to be my downfall.
Judge, jury, & executioner!
When I finished my most recent presentation, I started beating myself up like I was on some kind of strange talent show like American Idol or America’s Got Talent meets A Nightmare on Elm Street. My mini Simon Cowell / Freddy Krueger was on overdrive, critiquing all the things I did wrong and needed to improve. Freddy’s trademark metal claw pointing at me the whole time.
However, I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that I need to worry less about the presentation and more about giving myself grace to mess up. Everyone has something they’re fighting or working to overcome; we just don’t know it. For example, someone else may be a great presenter but may be a lousy writer or manager.
Oh, I’ve worked and gotten better at presentating. And yes, I’m sure it wasn’t all that bad, I’m sure I’m making it out worse in mind than it really was, but grace is important. I’ve figured out that I can’t be perfect in everything I do. If that means a less than stellar presentation, well then, that’s the way it’s going to be.
Making myself happy
We run our lives trying to make others happy. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m tired of that up-hill-climb to perfection. I’ll never reach it. What matters is if I’m helping my customers and am proud of my work. I’m the one who matters. My family matters. My friends matter. I can’t worry about everyone else. If others have a problem with that, then that’s their problem. I’ve given myself grace to fail or succeed and not worry about what others may think.
I still have some work to do, but I’m getting better. And that’s what’s important.